Hidden Texts by Osvaldo Romberg

Art to art. Life flowing Life.


    To view me is thine aspiration,
    My voice to hear, my countenance to see;
    Thy powerful yearning moveth me,
    Here am I!-What mean perturbation
    Thee, superhuman, shakes? Thy soul's high calling, where?
    Where is the breast, which from itself a world did bear, And shaped and cherished-which with joy expanded,
    To be our peer, with us, the Spirits, banded?
    Where art thou, Faust, whose voice has pieced to me,
    Who towards me pressed with all thine energy?
    He art thou, who my presence breathing, seeing,
    Trembles through all the depths of being,
    A Writhing worm, a terror-stricken form?


    Thee, form of flame, shall I then fear?
    Yes, I am Faust: I am thy peer!


    In the tides of Life in Action's storm,
    A fluctuant wave,
    A shuttle free,
    Birth and the Grave,
    An eternal sea,
    A weaving, flowing
    Life, all-glowing.

Thus at Time's humming loom't is my hand prepares
The garment of Life which the Deity wears!

from Faust. Scene I, Goethe

Expaining the natural is possible in the representation of unlikely historical sequence.

    Boas and Levi-Strauss have each advanced a theory explaining the prevalence of split-type representation. According to Boas, they are a result of a slow physical transformation, 'the natural development' of the method used for decoration of solid objects, such as boxes, and adapted for the ornamentation of circular objects, such as hats or bracelets. The animal is then arranged around the opening in a solid object. Finally, when such a solid object is cut and flattened, a split-type representation is created. It is possible that this represents the manner in which the Indians of the North Pacific coast arrived at this style of representation and that the aesthetic preference ensured that the style became accepted and flourished. It is noteworthy, however, that split-type drawings are spontaneous traits of both children and adults, who are unlikely to have experienced the evolutionary process described by Boas, and that he offers no historical evidence to demonstrate this evolutionary sequence. Therefore, the postulated genesis may perhaps be regarded as not proven.

from Illusion and Culture, Jan B. Deregowski

Mixing history forms a shape that is universal.

    With a wooden spoon, rub the cottage cheese through a sieve into a mixing bowl. Cream the butter by beating it against the side of a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon. Beat in the cheese, the paprika, a generous grinding of black pepper, the salt, capers, onions, sour cream, and most importantly, caraway seeds. The use of caraway seeds has a long history of spicing up Liptauer cheese.

    Continue beating vigorously with a wooden spoon or by using an electric mixer at medium speed until the mixture forms a smooth paste.

    If the Liptauer cheese is to be used as a spread, shape it into a mound and decorate it with the chives, or shape it into a ball that may be rolled in the chives. Refrigerate it for 2 hours, or until it is firm.

    To make a Liptauer dip, stir the extra sour cream into the paste with a wooden spoon or beat it with a universal electric mixer. Sprinkle the chives over the dip after it has been poured into a serving bowl.

from The Cooking of Vienna's Empire, Rudolph Grossbidner

In small portions, slices of truth moderate the course of events.

    Trim the crusts from the loaf of bread and cut it into 12 millimeters thick. In a small bowl, mash together, in even portions, the chopped anchovies, butter, mustard, eggs, herbs and pepper. The mixture should be quite smooth. Thickly spread it on 6 slices of bread. Top each slice with another piece of bread, and lightly press them together. At this point, the sandwiches may be wrapped in wax paper and refrigerated for up to 3 days or even frozen (to tell the truth , they should be thoroughly defrosted before using).

    Over moderate heat, melt the butter and oil in a 10 to 12 inch skillet. When the foam subsides, add the sandwiches, 2 or 3 at a time, and fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until they are crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve while hot, either whole, as a main luncheon course , as a snack, or as a fine addition to the lavish table of your most formal events.

from The Cooking of Scandinavia, Greta Kuelgsbaum

Everything might be blurred for theology. Human hopes justify the plan as real.

    It was also the day I began to let myself be lulled by feelings of resemblance: the notion that everything might be mysteriously related to everything else.

    Later, when I returned to Europe, I converted this metaphysics into mechanics-and thus fell into the trap in which I now lie. But back then I was living in a twilight that blurred all distinctions. Like a racist, I believed that a strong man could regard the faiths of others as an opportunity for harmless daydreaming and no more.

    I learned some rhythms, ways of letting go with body and mind. Recalling them the other evening in the periscope, to fight off growing numbness I moved my limbs as if I were once again striking the agogo. You see? I said to myself. To escape the power of the unknown, to prove to yourself that you don't believe in it, you accept its spells. Like an avowed atheist who sees the devil at night, you reason: He certainly doesn't exist; this is therefore an illusion, perhaps a result of indigestion. But the devil is sure that he exists, and believes in his upside-down theology. What, then, will frighten him? You make the sign of the cross, and he vanishes in a puff of brimstone.

    What happened to me was like what might happen to a pedantic ethnologist who has spent years studying cannibalism. He challenges the smugness of the whites by assuring everybody that actually human flesh is delicious. Then one day a doubter decides to see for himself and performs the experiment-on him. As the ethnologist is devoured piece by piece, he hopes , for he will never know who was right, but that at least he is delicious, which will justify the ritual and his death. The other evening I had to believe the plan was true, because if it wasn't, then I had spent the past two years as the omnipotent architect of an evil dream. Better reality than a dream: if something is real , then it is real and you are not to blame.

from Foucault's Pendulum, Umberto Eco

The world of art cannot function without inheritance.

    This tendency of ours to look for meaning, rather than to take in the real appearance of the world had been a constant theme of art educators who want to change our attitude. I would not deny for a moment that it can be an exciting and liberating experience to discover the true look of things by learning to draw or by studying art, but what I am disposed to question is the assumption that scanning for meaning is just a form of mental laziness. We could not function without this vital principal which Bartlett called "the effort after meaning".

    I believe this principal to be part of our biological inheritance. Whether or not our response to eyes in inborn-as I would suspect-or learned through something like early "im-printing", there is an obvious survival value in recognizing the eyes, and even the direction of the gaze, of our fellow creatures.

from Illusions in Art, E.H.Gombrich

The divine powers of memory are used to remember certain places by means of images.

    Nor is it true as unskilled people assert [quod ab inerbibus dicitur] that memory is crushed beneath the weight of images and even what might have been retained by nature unassisted is obscured: for I have myself met eminent people with almost divine powers of memory [summos homines et divina prope memoria], Charmadas at Athens and Metrodorus of Scepsis in Asia, that are said to be still living, each of whom used to say that he wrote down what he wanted to remember in certain places in his possession by means of images , just as if he were inscribing letters on wax. It follows that this practice cannot be used to draw out the memory if no memory has been given by nature, but it can undoubtedly summon it to come forth if it is in hiding.

from De Oratore, Cicero

Every image could be replaced with another image.

    It happened the same way every time, she would see the image on the wall, the one he gave her as a birthday present two years ago, and she would remember. She would remember his lean, muscular form, his long, flowing locks, his aroused manhood appearing as if it could break free of its denim prison whenever it wanted to be in her. Her mental image of him clothed is now replaced by that of him naked, sweaty, moaning. It was him holding her face to his crotch, penetrating her mouth with his cock, thrusting ever deeper, one thrust after another threatening to gag her with his urgency. He fucked well, she thought as she sighed and went back to work. That image of him would have to be removed if she was to concentrate on the task of getting her work done.

from Silent Lust, Dominique Saffire

Within text that is visible, it is possible to identify hidden texts where everything touches everything.

    As you know from the last session, located within the document's borders are the scroll bars. The right scroll bar scrolls the text vertically and it follows that the bottom scroll bar scrolls it horizontally. Although your document is completely visible, it is possible to accidentally click somewhere on a scroll bar and text might disappear. So that you know how to get it back, now is a good time to learn the complete use of the scroll bars. In the last lesson, you learned to identify and use the scroll arrows, but not how to retrieve hidden texts .

    We'll start with the right scroll bar, which is used more frequently. Notice that it consists of three elements: up and down scroll arrows, a grey area ( where the "document close" icon is located), and a scroll box. The up and down scroll arrows move everything within the document the least distance-one line at a time. The grey area moves the text the next greater distance-one window of information at a time. The scroll box moves the screen the greatest distance. When the scroll box touches the top of the bar, you see the beginning of the document and when it is at the bottom, you see the end of the document.

    When it's somewhere else on the bar, you see that relative position of the document. For example, if the scroll box is in the middle of the bar, and the document is 24 pages long, you would see everything on page 12 that would fit in the window.

from Scrolling the Document, Instructions for Windows 3.1

By dealing with the entire world reflected in the universal mirror, the universe is in the interior of all things.

    Here are my reasons. Toward 1867, Captain Burton held the office of British Consul in Brazil. In July, 1942, Pedro Henriquez Ureña discovered, in a library at Santos, a manuscript by Burton dealing with the mirror which the Orient attributes to Iskandar Zu al-Karnayn, or Alexander Bicornis of Macedonia. In its glass the entire world was reflected . Burton mentions other artifices of like kind: the septuple goblet of Kai Josru; the mirror which Tarik Benzeyad found in a tower (The Thousand and One Nights, 272); the mirror which Lucian of Samosata was able to examine on the moon (True History, I, 26); the diaphanous spear which the first book of Capella's Satyricon attributes to Jupiter; the universal mirror of Merlin, "round and hollow...and seemed a world of glass" (The Faerie Queene, III, 2, 19). And he adds these curious words: "But the former (besides the defect of not existing) are mere instruments of optics. The Faithful who attended the Mosque of Amr, in Cairo, know very well that the universe is in the interior of one of the stone columns surrounding the central courtyard...No one, of course, can see it, but those who put their ears to the surface claim to hear, within a short time its workaday rumor...The mosque dates from the seventh century; the columns come from other, pre-Islamic temples, for as ibn-Khaldun has written: 'In republics founded by nomads, the assistance of foreigners is indispensible in all that concerns masonry.'"

    Does that Aleph exist in the innermost recess of a stone? Did I see it when I saw all things , and have I forgotten it? Our minds are porous with forgetfulness; I myself am falsifying and losing, through the tragic erosion of the years, the features of Beatriz.

from Aleph, Jorge Luis Borges

+2000-2000even An Installation at the end of the millenium by Osvaldo Romberg
copyright ©1996 Osvaldo Romberg All Rights Reserved